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Roman Reese

Genre: acoustic/folk, Americana, country

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Roman Reese

Most people who read this paper—okay, most people still living—are too young to remember party lines. Or phones with dials. But the title of Roman Reese’s fine new disc refers to a common courtesy back when neighborhoods shared phone lines, when covering the mouthpiece and eavesdropping on a telephone conversation that might refer to you or your mother or your mailman was much more enriching and entertaining than YouTube or FaceSpace. (If you’re gray in the muzzle like I am and miss that freakish buzz, make a cellphone call from the eastern sidewalk of the Central Street and Union Avenue intersection. The magnetic fields from that KUB bunker will give you access to multiple continents and languages. Perhaps while it rearranges your neurons, but it’s a small price to pay.)
Listen Before Dialing is a disc worth celebrating. Reese is a really good songwriter, and the reason you notice is because he writes to his own strengths. He’s got a great voice for country and rock that calls for minimal instrumental support, and as a songwriter he never throws himself anything he can’t catch as a singer. Technically, he has multiple voices, a trait both functional and effective. On a song like “Smoke Rings” he pipes, “Blowing smoke rings can’t be taught, must be learned,” and makes his voice almost crack the word “learned” into two syllables while he shifts pitch to evoke both Steve Earle and Joe Ely. Or whoever your own favorite Southern accent singers may be. (Chris Barrett)

Musicians in Roman Reese

Name Instruments
Roman Reese guitar, vocals

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